NDC must help solve Ghana’s economic crisis – Prof Gyampo
Professor Ransford Gyampo, a political scientist, has called on the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) to proffer alternatives that will help Ghana achieve debt sustainability and come out of the current economic crisis.
He said as a government in waiting, it was important to offer credible alternatives to the current challenges with the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and the economic crisis.
Prof Gyampo emphasised on the need for the opposition to make concerted efforts in ensuring that such alternatives were made public give some assurance to the citizenry.
He said: “Let the opposition also speak about alternative views that can be exploited to help in the debt exchange programme,” and urged the opposition to move beyond criticisms.
The Unionist, who was contributing to discussions on the DDEP on a local television station monitored by the Ghana News Agency also asked the government to show enough commitment by sacrificing more to motivate others to do same.
Prof Gyampo said: “You cannot call for the people to sacrifice when government on their part is not sacrificing. That sacrifice will never happen,” adding that the programme should not be a stomach-directed approach.
On another platform, Madam Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, a Vice Chairperson of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, urged the Government to ensure that the DDEP was done in a way that would protect the vulnerable, including pensioners.
“We just can’t throw our vulnerable under the bridge, these are people who are old… We should be protecting our vulnerable in society rather than taking advantage of them because we think they don’t have what it takes to fight,” she said.
Prof Lord Mensah, an Economist, asked the Government to provide details on investor categorisation to aid in knowing, which persons would be significantly affected by the DDEP and to reduce the uncertainty among the populace.
“By this time the Finance Minister should have put data out there to indicate that these are the categorisation of bondholders by age, therefore if we exempt the pension holders then we are able to save about 10 per cent of what we are looking for and let us go with it,” he said.
Mr Habib Iddrisu, Second Deputy Majority Whip, said it had become necessary for everyone to also make some sacrifices to support the efforts of the Government to bring economic stability.
“I will urge the bondholders to sign onto the programme. Half a loaf is better than nothing. Where we are and what we look to achieve, we need to make a lot of sacrifices and help Government burden share,” Mr Iddrisu emphasised.
It has become necessary for the Government to restructure its debt with both domestic and external creditors in addition to other expenditure cuts as announced in the 2023 budget to ensure debt sustainability.
This is to help the Government to secure an Executive and Management Board approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of March 2023 for a $3 billion three-year loan-support programme.
Out of the 80 per cent of the GH¢137 billion required for the domestic debt exchange programme, the Government has achieved about 70 per cent participation so far.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has also assured that the Government: “Will successfully confront the difficulties, bring relief to the Ghanaian people, and return the economy back to the high rates of growth that characterised the management of our economy in the three years preceding the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”